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Sunday, September 25, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Week 11: Hookers Don't Wear Muppet Socks

Or do they?  The ones I've seen on 10th Street don't, but I'm certainly no expert.  But I think someone thought I was one today.  I'm not exactly sure what happened.  In the 24 years I've lived in Indy, I've done a lot of walking and running around by myself, and today is the first time I've ever been scared.

I went downtown this morning for the AUSA Indy Ten Miler.  I got there around 6:15 and parked on White River Parkway, and I was walking across the New York Street bridge when this car stopped on the bridge just ahead of me.  I couldn't see anyone in the car besides the driver, but that didn't mean there wasn't someone else in the car, so I got all the way over to the edge of the sidewalk, too far from the car for someone to reach me.  There had been another runner - a male - crossing the bridge earlier as I parked, but he was no longer in sight and there was no other traffic at all.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Week 10: Pace Car

Showing off those tats; pic by Tess Barnard
Week 10 of my 18 week marathon training plan.  That means I'm over halfway ready?  Yikes!  56 days to go.  We've got our hotel reservations and our Fast Bottom Girls tattoos from Mile Markings; time to get those plane tickets too.

This week started out on a low note, as my Nike+ Sportwatch GPS reached the end of its useful life.  I had been noticing some fogginess in the upper right corner after my runs the past few weeks, and although I can't see any cracks, there must be somewhere moisture is getting inside it now.  The data is all still there, because when I connect it to our PC I can still see it, but the display no longer works.

I was pretty sad about it, not so much because of the watch itself but because of what it represented.  Kevin gave me this watch for Christmas in 2012, the year I started running.  I hadn't even asked for it, but he had heard me express my frustration with using apps on my phone to track my running, and he picked this watch out for me.  So looking at this watch reminded me of Kevin and his support for me.  I know I still have that always in my heart, but I will miss this physical reminder on my wrist.

Most of my runs this week were watchless, but since they were familiar routes I still know how far I ran, just not how fast.  In my head, Monday morning's run was really fast as that's when I discovered my watch no longer worked and I pounded out my feelings on the pavement.  I did 2 miles Monday morning, then a 3 mile "taper" hill workout with #TeamMoHills Monday after work.  Tuesday I ran 3 miles in the morning, had to miss BSRC's Prediction Run after work but I did make it to LF Bootcamp where Megan came up with a great workout for us.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Week 9: Old Lady Edition

I am happy to report that my vertigo seems to have cleared up. Tuesday & Wednesday it was just awful. Not coming & going like before but constant, leaving me exhausted by the end of the work day.  The congestion from my allergies was the worst those days too so I really believe that was the cause.  Thursday both started to get better though, and today I haven't experienced any vertigo at all.  I even started car dancing again with no ill effects.

I skipped out on my training Monday & Tuesday because I just felt so off.  But not running didn't feel right either.  So Wednesday morning I got up and ran a couple of miles before work.  I'm not normally a morning runner, but I had a lot to do that evening and I didn't want to skip another day. Besides, I needed to break in my new shoes! Very comfortable! 

Thursday was Josh's birthday. How is it possible that he's 25? How am I old enough to have a baby who's 25?  He was 6 lbs. 14 oz. and 21 inches long when he was born. You could already see that he had red hair. So cute! Now he's over 6 feet tall. He wants to be a wilderness guide, and he spent most of his birthday money on camping gear. 

Since Josh's birthday extravaganza was Thursday evening, I again got up and ran in the morning, 3 miles this time. I'm starting to see the appeal of morning running. I feel the power and energy from my run stay with me all day.  It's different than those evening runs that discharge all the stress I've built up. Maybe I'll just start doing both, on days when I have time anyway.

Monday, September 5, 2016

TheGloRun Indianapolis Race Review

This past weekend, Josh and I had the opportunity to run TheGloRun, a nighttime 5K with glow sticks.  We were given two free registrations for the Indianapolis event in exchange for reviewing the race.  All opinions here are completely ours.

Registration & Pre-Race

Registration was really simple.  The website is easy to navigate and loads quickly.  The mobile version works well too.  There are two options for registration: an untimed fun run for participants who want to take their time through the course, taking pictures and enjoying the glo zones; and a chip-timed race for runners who want the extra challenge.  Both options come with a cute t-shirt and three glow sticks.  (Josh is wearing the shirt in the pic at the end of this post.)  Timed racers also receive a finisher's medal and a small flashlight.  There is extra gear for purchase - light-up headbands, extra glow sticks, upgraded shirts, sunglasses for teams of 5, etc.  

Pre-race communications were good.  We received several e-mails reminding us of packet pickup times and locations, event schedule, and just hyping the fun.  Packet pickup was conveniently located at Blue Mile in Broad Ripple from 11am to 6pm the day before the race.  It was well organized and we didn't have to wait at all.  There were also options for event day pickup, or having your packet mailed to you ahead of time for a small extra charge.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Week 8: What a Difference 30 Degrees Makes

This week I finally started feeling better.  I miss Kevin all the time, but sometimes the pain is sharper than others, and all I can do is just go with it. I started out the week still feeling down, but I kept getting up and working and training every day, and finally by Thursday I was feeling more like myself. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me recently. Your love and support is beyond priceless.

This morning in Sunday School we were discussing where we see evidence of God's care and concern.  Really for me it's every single day since Kevin died, God has given me something to get out of bed for, something to do, something to work on, some reason to keep moving.  And moments of joy and peace every day as well.  It's pretty amazing as I look back on it.

And so I keep moving every day, whether I feel like it or not.  Not in a "fake it till you make it" way, but rather moving in faith that God has something for me to do.  And always I feel Him with me.  So here's how this week's training went:

Trail Therapy

Monday - Missed Hills

Runner girl fail.  After work I went to change for hill training and discovered I'd forgotten shorts.  So I went home and waited around for the temps to cool off just a bit, then headed out for a short sunset trail run.  Being in the woods is always good for my soul.

Total miles: 3.5

Tuesday - Cross Training

My usual 5K Canal run with BSRC, followed by LFBootcamp.  I made this week's workout with some punching moves; possibly working out some aggression.  It felt a little awkward at first, but I enjoyed it and I think the others did too.

Total miles: 4

Wednesday - Yoga

Boat Pose
Last week for Sunrise Yoga on the Canal.  I've really enjoyed these sessions all summer.  Yoga outside just gives me something extra that yoga in a studio doesn't have.  Even in the middle of the city with traffic noises, there's something about being outside that's more meaningful.  This week we did a lot of balance and core work.  Some of the poses are still really challenging for me, and I didn't even attempt any handstands.

Total miles: 2.2

Thursday - Run(317)

Finally the heat wave finally broke.  Thursday's Run(317) Carmel was so nice - the run felt effortless after struggling with the heat the past few weeks.  I didn't PR, but pretty close at 35:23..  And as always, the after-party was a blast.  Only one more left this year: Fountain Square on 10/20.  It's bound to sell out like the others have, so sign up now.  This is the original and it's still the favorite of a lot of people.

Total miles: 7.4 (because I parked so far away from the race I walked more than I ran)


I didn't work out on Friday.  But I did buy some new running shoes! All the local running stores are having sales for Labor Day weekend.  When I was out picking up our packets for Saturday's race, I browsed the shoes on sale, and was thrilled to spot one pair of the exact shoe I needed in my size.

Total miles: 0.7

Saturday - Long Run + TheGloRun

Saturday morning I went to Broad Ripple for my long run.  I did part of it on the Monon Trail, and part on the Canal Towpath.  With temps in the mid 60s and low humidity, I felt like I could run all day.  It was so nice to feel that way again.  I had to stop, just because Sampson had a vet appointment, otherwise who knows how far I would've run.

I was still dealing with dizziness, though, so it isn't just the heat causing that.  It didn't stop me or slow me down, but it's kind of a scary feeling.  I am really congested with fall allergies, so maybe that is what's causing it?  If it doesn't go away when my allergies clear up (typically mid-September), I will go see my doctor.

Saturday night I had the opportunity to do TheGloRun, and Josh ran it with me.  I got two free entries in exchange for blogging about it, so I'm going to do a full write-up tomorrow.  Spoiler: we had a great time.  This was a really fun run, and even after my morning long run I had no soreness (and no dizziness), and finished 5th in my age group with 34:55.

Best of all though was spending the evening with Josh.  I'm pretty lucky he's not embarrassed to hang out with his goofy mom all dressed up in an 80s costume.  I'm going to miss him when he moves to Colorado.  I'm already making plans to run Rock 'N Roll Denver next year.

Total miles: 18.2

Total miles for the week: 36.1

Total training miles to date:  197.65

Up Next

Sept. 10:  I really want to run the Hendricks County Half Marathon this coming Saturday.  I'm not signed up, though, and I'm not sure if I can/want to spend the money.  It was my very first half back in 2013, so it's kind of special to me, and I want to run it again.  Stay tuned to see what I decide.

Sept. 17:  I'm the 3-Hour Pacer for the Indy Women's Half Marathon.  I'm starting to get nervous about it.  I've never paced a race before.  I don't want to let anyone down.  

Sept. 25:  AUSA Indy Ten Miler: I found out about this race last year too late to actually run it, so as soon as registration opened for this year I signed up.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

More Good Days Than Bad....But Not This Week: Countdown to Vegas Week 7

I know I'm supposed to be telling you how my marathon training went this week, but it's mostly a blur & I don't have much to say about it. Usually when someone asks how I'm doing, if they are a person I feel safe being honest with, I say "More good days than bad ones lately."  Well this week that wasn't true.

There were a few bright moments. Boot camp was good on Tuesday, and Theresa's Refit class on Wednesday was a lot of fun.  But mostly I've felt so sad and so tired, or just numb.  Even my runs were struggles. I don't want to do this anymore. But there's no way off this road.  No detours, no shortcuts. 

I know there's still good to come - little oasis moments of joy on this long lonely desert road - some races & other fun things I have planned that I'm looking forward to. But right now I'm just tired. I'm tired of hurting. I'm tired of feeling like a stranger in my own life. Even sleeping doesn't help. I dreamed about Kevin last night, and he kissed me which was awesome because I really miss kissing him. But he refused to say he loved me, and so I woke up angry and crying. 

Although maybe he wouldn't still love me if he came back. He might be appalled at some of the bad habits I've acquired since he died. Like eating in bed. Actually I used to do that before I met him too, but I don't think he knew that. I do eat a lot healthier food in bed now than I did back then, but I'm still pretty sure he wouldn't like it.  And he'd never put up with me sleeping with the lights on.

Gloomy weather to match my mood
I was hoping Saturday's long run would give me a reset, but it was rough too. I slept in rather than get an early start.  When I finally headed out around 9:30, I heard thunder almost immediately, so I headed back home. I fell asleep reading, and when I woke around 11:30 the rain had stopped. I had 2 chapters to go so I decided to finish my book then go run.  Just as I put my book down, rain & thunder made another appearance. By then I was hungry again so I ate lunch, then finally around 2:30 the skies and radar were both clear. But the heat & humidity were back, and I battled nausea for most of my run, which was more of a long walk.  By the end I was feeling dizzy too. Not a fun run at all.  But I didn't stop and I finished my scheduled 12 miles.

Total miles for the week: 33.8

Total training miles to date:  161.55

One area I'm not struggling in right now is my faith. I feel God so present with me right now in my pain. It's hard to even explain. Parts of the Bible like Job and Lamentations that never really made sense to me before do now. God is still good, and He hasn't abandoned me.  I just don't want to be here anymore.  My soul is tired.  I don't think it's coincidence that I've heard this song on the radio three times this week, even though it's not a current hit.

Up Next

I try to keep a good balance between fun events scheduled and downtime to just be where I am.  I know if I get too busy I'll start feeling stressed instead of enjoying my activities, but if I don't have enough on the calendar that will leave me feeling lonely.  I have two races this week:

Run(317) Carmel on Thursday evening - a new location this year for my fave race series.  I like running in Carmel, but I don't like driving there.  So much construction, my car GPS is useless.  The race and post race party are always a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.  As of Friday, there were only about 50 spots left, so this will sell out too.  If you aren't signed up yet, don't wait.

The GloRun on Saturday evening - an 80's themed glow-in-the-dark night run.  I'm doing this one with Josh, so I know we'll have a great time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

You're Never Too Old To Play Outside: Countdown to Vegas Week 6

This post is not going to be my typical weekly training recap.  This past week was rather light on training but strong on adventure.  I needed that.  I feel freer today than I have in months.  I hope I can hang onto this feeling.  It's going to be hard to tell you what all this meant to me, but in my rambly way I will try.

Monday - Wednesday: Recovery

My back was still hurting from the week prior.  I think all the time spent sitting in classes, in airports and on airplanes had irritated a nerve.  I didn't want to run until I was pain-free; I'd rather miss a few days than take a chance of making it worse.  So I tried to walk some each day, and stretch and foam roll my legs and glutes.  By Wednesday I felt about 95% better, so I cleaned the frat house and made plans to run on Thursday.

Thursday: Running Again

Thursday's run was both fun and inspirational.  IMPD invited the public to come out and run with
their recruit class, so I joined several friends to do that.  We met shortly before noon and listened along with the recruits to their trainers and the Police Chief.  We ran along the Canal Walk, stopping at the USS Indianapolis Memorial, the 9/11 Memorial, and the Medal of Honor Memorial.  At each stop, we listened to the trainers and Police Chief again as they talked about service and sacrifice.  It was all very moving.  The run was also fun, since the recruits were doing PT calls, and it's been a long time since I've run to any of those.  I was humbled and grateful to be a part of this, and I hope I get the chance to do it again.  Click this link to see the news story about it:

Friday - Sunday: Summer Camp FBG Style

Flat Rock River YMCA Camp offers a Women's Getaway Weekend, and several of my friends and I had been planning to go for months.  #YurtChat started back in March.  I cannot tell you how excited I was that the weekend was finally here, and it did not disappoint.